Room Acoustic Analysis

From boomy bass to poor soundstaging, acoustic issues can wreck the audio experience. Acoustic Frontiers has both the expertise and the tools to solve all your audio issues.

room acoustic design

The Generic Approach

So your room has acoustic issues. Do you go for the ‘free consulting’ offered by acoustic treatment manufacturers? Or should you fix the problem yourself using a rule of thumb you find on the web? Answer: neither. The failing shared by both these approaches is that they don’t use measurements. No measurements? Then you have no idea either where your issues are, or how severe they are. Any treatment you select thereafter is an expensive guess, with you writing the checks. Typically, the results include ugly acoustic treatment, money wasted on unnecessary treatments, and sub 100Hz bass issues which still haven’t been fixed.

While advanced enthusiasts appreciate the need to take some acoustic measurements, it’s a real challenge to interpret that data. Most people’s understanding of room acoustics just isn’t comprehensive enough to analyze the graphs, determine the deficiencies, link what they hear to what they see on the charts, or pinpoint the root causes of each acoustical issue. Virtually no-one will be able to laser-target solutions like we can, and so the enthusiast often ends up in a similar place to the newbie, wasting money on ineffective acoustic treatments and failing to fix the real issues.

Acoustic Frontiers Room Acoustic Analysis service is a comprehensive, measurement-based approach to understanding and fixing your room’s issues. It has three components:

  • Acoustic measurements—we analyze your room’s acoustic measurements and compare them against our acoustic measurement standards to highlight the acoustical issues. Root cause analysis enables us to pinpoint the mechanisms causing each issue and identify solutions.
  • Best practices review—we identify opportunities to improve sound quality through a review of your room’s acoustic design against our audio and acoustic design principles derived from industry best practices, published standards, and our own thought leadership.
  • Critical listening (onsite service only)—we critically evaluate and score your system’s performance against our sound quality framework (clarity, response, dynamics, imaging, and envelopment) using music reference material and blu-ray demo discs to understand areas of weakness and improvement opportunities.

room acoustic analysisThe Room Acoustic Analysis service can be performed onsite within the SF Bay Area and remotely anywhere in the world. If you choose our remote service you can either buy your own easy to use acoustic measurement system (we recommend XTZ Room Analyzer), borrow our measurement kit, or send us measurements from software like Room EQ Wizard.

Room Acoustic Analysis Service Deliverables

  • Written Room Acoustic Analysis Report, typically 20-30 pages in length. Includes charts depicting your room’s acoustic measurements with discussion, comparison against targets, and root cause analysis.
  • Written one-page Room Acoustic Analysis Executive Summary highlighting the major issues, their root causes, and your options to fix them. There are many ways to fix room acoustic problems including speaker/listener/sub placement, EQ, system set-up, and acoustic treatment.*
  • Phone Discussion to review your report and discuss improvement options.

*Acoustic Treatment Design is split out as a separate service because everyone’s needs are different—some want to DIY, others want to use off-the-shelf products.

Acoustic Analysis Service Benefits

  • See your room’s key acoustic measurements: frequency response, bass decay, reverberation time, and reflections.
  • Understand how your room acoustics degrade sound quality.
  • Understand how your room design falls short of acoustical best practices.
  • Understand the root causes of the acoustical issues in your room.
  • Discover the options for improving your room’s acoustic design.

Case Studies and Articles

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  • Perceptual effects of reflections

    Early Reflections 101

    One of the most common “generic” acoustic treatment recommendations is to treat the reflection points. Unfortunately properly managing early reflected sounds is actually very complex psychoacoustically. Blindly treating reflection points with the wrong kind of products can make your sound worse. For a high performance high-end audio listening room, home recording studio or home theater [...]

  • An acoustic overhaul of a band practice space in Napa

    Client Profile Mr. Levandowski is a retired computer executive and an aspiring rock and roll drummer in Napa, California. Project Overview The client had recently converted his garage into a music studio for practicing his drumming and accommodating jam sessions with his garage band. The interior walls and a ceiling were constructed using 2-ply Quiet [...]

  • Four approaches to room acoustic measurement

    This article covers the four main ways in which you can measure your room’s acoustics. In decreasing ease of use order these are: Integrated software / hardware packages such as XTZ Room Analyzer and Dayton Audio Omnimic Standalone software packages and your choice of measurement microphone, cabling and soundcard such as Room EQ Wizard Hardware devices such [...]

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